1. How long have you lived in the area?
Almost 18 years, I’m a bush girl. I wanted to have a hobby farm and animals somewhere out in the bush. It’s handy to have easy access to town for work, I hadn’t had a bin service before coming to Dereel! Everything lined up to make it possible.
2. What’s great about living here?
Everything! The community – Dereel is a town, but not a town. It isn’t built up, but has a sense of community, facilities and closeness. I love the fact that we are in the bush, you could imagine being in the middle of nowhere, but everything is still accessible.
3. What do you feel passionate about?
The main thing is letting people realize how amazing they are. People are all unique and when you put them together it makes a patchwork of capabilities. I feel passionate about the potential of people to do amazing things, it’s all about people and potential.
4. What do you find joy in doing?
There are two sides to this – first being involved in community, doing things collaboratively and creatively. But also I enjoy having time to myself on the property and being creative. This community has both – the opportunity to meet and work together; and then to come home, shut the gate and the door behind me.
5. What is your current pet project?
Setting up the new vege garden. My back is dodgy now, so creating back-friendly solutions like wicking beds, using raised garden beds. I’d like to use what I learn from it to help with establishing a community garden, with whole community involvement, with education, and swapping decent food.
6. What community groups are you involved in and why?
CFA Brigade – I’ve always been involved, Dad was in a brigade, it’s a meaningful contribution
Dereel Community Hub – it provides a unifying focus, in supporting people to have a crack at developing community. Also with community planning, it’s a good opportunity to develop the future for Dereel
Performing arts group – I would like to get it going, supporting creative expression
I’ve been involved in lots of groups, supporting people having a crack in different ways.
7. Tell us about your best community experience.
For me in this community, it was the Captain Cat production. It was written for a different purpose in a different community. This community had no history of theatre and some people said it wouldn’t work. But so many people came out to participate. It wasn’t about politics or ownership, just about people contributing what they could and everyone donated themselves, a gift to the community. It was just extraordinary.
8. How could you see more of this happening in Dereel?
By providing the type of community environment where it’s OK to have fun and try something new. It’s OK to do something embarrassing and have a laugh. By supporting each other to try new things and know that it’s OK to do that. By celebrating differences. By being selfless, with everyone involved in their own way, not expecting medals for it. People were involved just because they wanted to be, it was evidence of a wonderfully supportive community.
9. Describe a future vision of Dereel that you would like to see.
It starts with establishing the hall as a central hub. Facilities that inspire people to drop in and use them, inspire learning and supporting others. A creative and respectful space… with a kick-arse community garden. Where people are comfortable contributing at whatever level they want. For those who want to contribute, its a safe and welcoming environment where community members can always step up or step back and know that others will support it. And a shop!
10. What would we do as a first step to realise that dream?
Be actively involved in community planning. It’s our opportunity to have a say in creating community. There are so many things happening in the community and instead of complaining what isn’t happening it’s the chance to make it what we want.